As pressure builds on its factory practices, Apple announced it would use a third-party group to inspect its plants in China. Should they just bring those jobs home?
'Those jobs aren't coming back.' They weren't Steve Jobs's last words, but you could be forgiven for thinking they were. Jobs made the comment to President Obama months before he died, but it?s mostly since his death that they?ve set off a debate. Can the world?s richest corporation really not afford to build iPhones and iPads in the United States?
Apple says no, but of course it can: American workers build BMWs and Boeings, and they certainly could build all of an iPad's components. The real question isn't whether Apple can make products here, but whether it should.
Some people think so, and not just Occupy Wall Street types. 'Apple has benefited enormously by dint of being an American company, and they do have some responsibilities to the United States,' says Clyde Prestowitz, a top U.S. trade negotiator under Ronald Reagan.